From April 2017 onwards, Virgin Care will oversee more than 200 health care and social care services in Bath and north-east Somerset including adult social care, continuing healthcare and children’s community health. This in itself isn’t anything new. The private sector has been providing public services in the health, social care and prison sectors for some time. For example, both G4S and Serco run a number of the UK’s prisons and custodial services. And Branson’s empire is no virgin to the healthcare industry – having been set up in 2006, it now runs more than 230 NHS health and social care contracts worth over £1 billion. There are two things the Government can do to ensure that private service provision is managed effectively: 1. Be open about performance The public are deeply sceptical about privatising services, particularly something as sacred as the NHS. The only way to reassure them is to be open and transparent about how private providers of public services are performing. Currently, it is difficult for the public to know how much providers are being paid and how well providers are performing against these contracts. Some central government contracts are now required to include transparency provisions (thanks […]

Original source – Institute for Government

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